Botswana Plastic Bag Ban

The Tauck booklet states that in 2018 a plastic bag ban went into effect in Botswana. Information on the internet says this was planned and then rescinded. Can someone who has been on the trip recently please provide information on the actual status of the plastic bag ban?


  • I have not read the latest status, but have already found great substitutes for our upcoming K and T safari. For example, Mr B always uses supermarket bags. Putting one shoe in each, I have always disliked his shoe packing method, so now was a good excuse to buy nice reasonably priced and colorful shoe bags from Amazon. I also have sort of rubberized bags equivalent to the ziplock bags you use for liquids. You can find waterproof ‘sacs’ of all sizes very reasonably priced from places like Walmart, example 3 for $8. So don’t panic, I would just get these things because everywhere is going to have these rules soon. We had to check we had not left any plastic bags in the outer pockets of our suitcases and carryon because it’s always been something we routinely keep in bags for emergencies.

  • The problem with foreign regulations, is that there is often something lost in translation- two countries separated by a common language, etc. I firmly believe this ban "is intended" to eliminate plastic shopping bags which litter towns, highways and even the bush which can be easily ingested by land and sea animals. Also remember, the locals probably don't know what is acceptable either. This doesn't help so err on the side of caution. There are plenty of "heavy vinyl" or vinyl-lined, zippered totes for shoes, makeup and toiletries that should all be acceptable- a search of Google and Amazon should give you plenty of ideas.

  • On some forums, I read that plane passengers are being told to remove their liquids from the zip lock bags and leave them on the plane, but I can’t remember which African country. I am sure that zip lock bags are OK but meanwhile, I will try to eliminate them apart from the liquids bag because in the future you just never know.

  • Yes, I’ll be using mine like that for the first time when we do the K and T trip.

  • When we went last year zip lock bags were OK. Plastic shopping bags are banned. We went to a store in Arusha on our way to Kenya and they issued bags made of paper.My wife sometimes packs using ‘Dry Cleaner’ clothes bags to prevent wrinkled clothes. We did not use any on this last trip.

  • I sent an email to the company that runs the Belmont lodges - response is below.

    Dear Richard,

    Thank you for your email.

    The ban is on hold in Botswana, so plastic bags are still being sold and used.

    Should you require any further assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.

    Best regards,

    Office telephone: +27 (0) 21 483 1600
    Emergency mobile number:
    +27 (0) 82 806 6562

  • We were on the trip in June. The plastic bag ban has been put on hold.

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